The Public Relations Blog
Earn more news media coverage by pitching stories with conflict.
Everyone loves drama. Yes, even you. Look at the news — story after story includes some sort of physical or emotional conflict, from sports rivalries to company comparisons to celebrity face-offs. The truth is that news consumers love reading about drama, which is why conflict can add great news value to a story.
When a story has more news value, it becomes more newsworthy, meaning news consumers are more likely to care, interact, and engage with it. Newsrooms look for stories with great news value, so it’s important to incorporate elements of news in your pitches when trying to gain earned media coverage.
To interest journalists, pitch stories with news that will greatly affect target audiences.
When you think about what you see and hear in the news, you may generate a negative image. Extremely serious and urgent news stories often find priority in the news cycle, and these stories can often leave an emotional impact on news consumers. One reason for this emotional impact is because news consumers recognize that these stories carry consequence. When you know that something could change your life, in many cases negatively, you’re more likely to care about it and pay attention.
Stories that affect more people are more likely to earn media coverage.
Impact: What comes to mind when you think of this word? An asteroid impact, maybe? Something powerful — physically and emotionally? Think about the asteroid metaphor: A huge event like that would affect many people — virtually everyone on Earth. You’d want to see that in the news before it happened, right? That’s because the event is not just literally an impact. The event has impact, meaning it affects a great number of people.
Pitch stories that happen near your target audience to catch journalists’ attention.
When pitching stories to journalists to earn media coverage, your story must stand out if you want them to accept it. As a marketing and communications professional working with news media, you need to understand what journalists look for when scanning pitches if you want them to pick up your story.
Highlight the currency of your media pitches to interest journalists.
When you consume news, you may notice a pattern: Most news is timely. Likely, you prefer to hear about events that happened recently — the more current, the more interesting. This is called timeliness, and it’s one of the most important pillars of newsworthiness.
Catch journalists’ and news consumers’ attention with well-known names.
Have you ever seen a news story about a celebrity doing something ordinary and thought, “Why do people care?”
The answer: Because they are a celebrity! A story pitch featuring a famous person is likely to catch a journalist's attention, and the story they publish will likely catch a news consumer’s attention in turn.
For some companies, especially those without a strong communication department or team, drafting of news releases is sometimes one of the more difficult things to write. While pitching may be a work of art, writing a news release is like a science project. There are many elements and best practices to writing a news release, so here are our top eight best practices for writing a news release:
“I don’t know what PR is, but I know we need it,” is a statement many business professionals find themselves making throughout their career. CNN says “anyone who pays attention to how decisions are influenced knows that PR is tremendously important” – so why is public relations at work so difficult to recognize? Like trying to assign a universal value to a work of art, public relations is quantified in various ways depending on an organization’s unique traits. To better understand what PR is, let’s break it down using the five Ws.
To earn media coverage, your news must be interesting to more than just your internal audience.
There is a stark difference between news that is important to your company and its internal audience and news that is important to your company’s external audience. Your internal audience may include employees and shareholders, while your target external audience might be new and existing customers or clients, the general public, those in your industry, and niche enthusiasts. If you want to make your news “newsworthy” to external audiences, it’s critical to understand the difference between these two audiences.
Journalists are gearing up for a stronger year in the post-COVID-19 era
With the world returning to normalcy, journalists are coming to terms with the realities of a post-pandemic industry. After the pandemic compelled them to take a step back and restrategize at the initial stage of the outbreak, it’s yet again necessary for journalists to modify their work habits and preferences to suit the times.